Safeguarding Policy

StreetDoctors Safeguarding Policy Statement

Our responsibility

At StreetDoctors we believe that everyone has the right to be kept safe from harm, exploitation and abuse.

We recognise that:

  • Everyone, regardless of age, gender identity, disability, racial heritage, religious belief, sexual orientation or identity, has a right to equal protection from all types of harm, exploitation and abuse

  • Some of the people we work or come into contact with may be in more vulnerable circumstances and less able to protect themselves. This is because of the impact of previous experiences, for example, trauma or adverse childhood experiences, their level of dependency on others, physical or mental ill health, communication needs or because they are children

  • We have a responsibility to ensure our people, programmes and activities do no harm to people and that they do not expose them to the risk of harm, exploitation and abuse

Our safeguarding commitment

We are committed to providing safe and positive environments for everyone involved in the work we do and believe that all StreetDoctors representatives play an active part in keeping themselves and those they work with safe.

We do this by:

  • Valuing, listening to and respecting those we work with

  • Designing and delivering our programmes and activities in a way that promotes the health, safety and wellbeing of those present and protects people from the risks of harm, exploitation and abuse

  • Recognising that we are in a position of power and privilege which may impact on the health, safety and wellbeing of others, and working to reduce these imbalances both within the delivery of our work but also within the communities and systems in which we work

  • Encouraging the active participation of StreetDoctors representatives and those we work with in keeping themselves and others safe, ensuring they have a voice and a choice and know how to seek help if they need it

  • Recruiting StreetDoctors representatives safely, ensuring all necessary checks are made to assess their suitability

  • Ensuring all StreetDoctors representatives are made aware of this policy and have access to appropriate training to understand their responsibilities

  • Having effective procedures in place for responding to safeguarding concerns and designated staff to respond to them

  • Monitoring the implementation of our safeguarding policy and taking any measures required to strengthen and improve existing practice

Responding to safeguarding concerns

A safeguarding concern is any worry or concern about the health, safety or wellbeing of a person because of something seen or heard, or information which has been received.  This includes any concerns about the behaviour of StreetDoctors representatives which is harmful or puts others at risk. For example, someone may tell us that they, or someone they know, has been harmed, exploited, or abused or we might witness a situation where a person is putting the safety of another person at risk.

What will we do when we have a safeguarding concern?

At StreetDoctors we will:

  • Act quickly and appropriately when a safeguarding concern is identified or reported to us

  • Treat all safeguarding concerns in a professional, confidential and sensitive way

  • Always act in the best interests of people, respecting and involving them, giving them a choice over decision making which impacts them, unless they lack the capacity to do so or it would put them at serious risk of harm, exploitation, abuse or neglect

  • Provide people with safe and appropriate advice, signposting and referring them to services that meet their needs

  • Work in partnership with other organisations, including our delivery partners, and statutory services like the police and social care to make sure they get the help they need

  • Make sure concerns where a child or adult at risk has been or is at significant risk of harm, exploitation, abuse and neglect are referred to local authority social care or the police

  • Protect confidential information except where the wider duty of care or the public interest might justify making it known

How to report a safeguarding concern

Anyone can report a safeguarding concern.

You can:

  • Speak to a member of StreetDoctors staff or one of our representatives if you are attending one of our programmes or activities

  • Speak to the On Call or Safeguarding Officer if you are a StreetDoctors representative

What if the concern is not related to StreetDoctors?

The Safeguarding Officer can still give advice and guidance, but they cannot act on your behalf.

You can:

  • If you are worried about the safety or welfare of a child, call the NSPCC Adult Helpline for confidential advice on 0808 800 5000

  • If you are worried about the safety or welfare of an adult call the police. 999 for an emergency. 101 for a non-emergency